The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Americans support federal bill to shield legal cannabis states: new poll

The federal bill query was one of 11 marijuana-related questions on the survey, the largest number of cannabis questions posed to-date on a single Quinnipiac poll.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has said he likes his odds of getting a bill through Congress to protect state-legal marijuana operations.

And a new npoll released Thursday shows that it’s a popular bet with the American people.

Nearly three-quarters of American voters surveyed by Qunnipiac University say they would support legislation that shields states that have legalized medical or recreational from federal prosecution. The poll showed that 74 percent of Americans surveyed said they would favor such a bill, with 20 percent opposing and 6 percent not knowing or responding.

The federal bill query was one of 11 marijuana-related questions on the survey, the largest number of cannabis questions posed to-date on a single Quinnipiac poll.

The latest survey out of the Connecticut university shows that public support for marijuana legalization has notched a new high.

A total of 63 percent of voters surveyed favored legalizing marijuana, an increase of 2 percentage points from the previous high of 61 percent reported in an Aug. 3, 2017, survey.

Levels of public support have steadily climbed in recent years. When Quinnipiac pollsters posed the legalization question back in December 2012 — just a month after residents in Colorado and Washington voted to start adult-use cannabis sales in their states — Americans who favored the move nationally totaled 51 percent.

But as to whether legalization is good or bad, people are less certain. A total of 48 percent of respondents who live in states where recreational marijuana is allowed said they thought it had a positive effect; however, 25 percent of respondents said they thought the move has negatively affected their state and another 26 percent saying they were unsure.

The survey was conducted between April 20 and April 24 and contained a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers called landlines and cell phones of the 1,193 participants.

The marijuana-specific polling results included:

Do you think that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States, or not?

Yes: 63 percent
No: 33 percent
DK/NA: 4 percent

Do you support or oppose allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it?

Support: 93 percent
Oppose: 5 percent
DK/NA: 1 percent

Keeping in mind that your answers are confidential, have you ever recreationally used marijuana or not?

Yes: 43 percent
No: 54 percent
DK/NA: 2 percent

If you agreed with a political candidate on other issues, but not on the issue of legalizing marijuana, do you think you could still vote for that candidate or not?

Yes: 82 percent
No: 13 percent
DK/NA: 5 percent

Would you support or oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana?

Support: 23 percent
Oppose: 70 percent
DK/NA: 7 percent

Is recreational marijuana legal in the state in which you live, or not?

Yes/Legal: 22 percent
No: 72 percent
DK/NA: 5 percent

(If yes/legal) Do you think that legalizing recreational marijuana has been good for your state or bad for your state?

Good: 48 percent
Bad: 25 percent
DK/NA: 26 percent

As you may know, legalizing recreational marijuana allows states to tax the sale of marijuana, which can result in increased revenue. Do you think that increasing revenue in your state is a good reason or a bad reason for recreational marijuana to be legalized?

Good reason: 54 percent
Bad reason: 42 percent
DK/NA: 4 percent

Do you consider marijuana a so-called “gateway drug”, or not?

Yes/Gateway drug: 31 percent
No: 61 percent
DK/NA: 8 percent

Do you think that legalizing marijuana will make people more likely to use opioids, less likely to use opioids, or don’t you think legalizing marijuana will have much impact either way?

More likely: 20 percent
Less likely: 20 percent
Not much impact: 56 percent
DK/NA: 5 percent